Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Phil Ochs Cover That Never Was

It began with this review by Richie Unterberger of the Clydie King 2007 compilation Imperial & Minit Years, which contained the following reference:
The previously unissued 1968 tracks show her trying some pretty unexpected tunes by the likes of Mickey Newbury, Bobbie Gentry, and Phil Ochs...

Presumably Unterberger saw the title "When in Rome" on the compilation and assumed it was the Phil Ochs song, but it is certainly not upon a cursory listen (would King have really covered this dark material, with lyrics like "I cracked his skull again"?) -- not to mention that the track would need to continue for at least another 10 minutes beyond its 2:13 length to cover all the lyrics contained in the Ochs song.

The erroneous information then found its way into this review of Farewells & Fantasies: The Phil Ochs Collection:
Among folk legends, the late Phil Ochs is nearly peerless. His dozen years as a ringing voice in the war against social and political injustice left the world with a wealth of music and lyrics that remain powerful and in some cases topical more than 30 years after he recorded them. Joined by the likes of Ry Cooder, Clydie King, Jack Elliott, Van Dyke Parks, Don Rich, and Tom Scott, Ochs created a legacy of words and music that continues to drive the spirit of social conscience in musicians like Billy Bragg, Natalie Merchant, and Ani DiFranco. This 3 CD set collects the work he did at Elektra, A&M, and Folkways between 1964 and 1975, as well as several previously unreleased tracks. It chronicles not just an era when music and politics often clashed, but also one spiritual man's sojourn from rebellion and activism to depression and despair. --L.A. Smith

As interesting as it would be to hear Clydie King cover Ochs' "When in Rome," it never happened and despite claims to the contrary, she has never recorded a Phil Ochs song.

No comments: